Keeping Pegboard Hooks From Falling Out When Removing Tools




One wall of my workshop is mostly pegboard. Always frustrated with the pegboard hooks falling out when removing tools, I went in search of a solution. From screws to the plastic hook retainers, nothing appealed to me until I came across a vague description of a similar idea on a forum. This is my adaptation and interpretation of that idea.

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Step 1: The Problem

The pegboard on my shop wall has the larger 1/4 (or about) inch holes. While the thicker wire hooks and accessories, that are made for the larger hole, work great. The problem is the thinner wire hooks (about an 1/8 inch thick) won't stay put. Grab a tool off the wall and ping... ping, ping... the hook is now down behind the bench or some other tool... never to be seen again. I have found that sometimes you just need these smaller hooks because the thicker gauge doesn't come in the small profiles that are needed. Besides, the thinner hooks are way cheaper! So, on to the solution... or at least my solution, cheap, easy, quick...

Step 2: Tools and Materials

Thin gauge wire. Found at the local dollar store. It's 3 spools of 33 feet total (or maybe it's 33 ft. per roll?). The package doesn't provide an actual gauge size, but it is thin enough that it can be easily bent and twisted by hand. (1st photo)

Needle Nose Pliers and Wire Cutters. (2nd photo)

Step 3: Cut and Bend the Wire

Cut a length of wire from the spool roughly 10 to 12 inches long. This length may be a little longer than you really need, but it just makes things easier until you get the hang of it. (1st photo)

Bend the wire in half forming a small "loop" a the the bend. The "loop" should be open enough to allow the pegboard hook to slip inside. (2nd and 3rd photo)

Starting from the "loop", form the wire into a "fish hook" shape that is "about" equal in width as two adjacent holes in the pegboard. (4th and 5th photos)

Bend the "tail" of the hook in an arc away from the "loop". this will help make the next step a bit easier. (6th photo)

Step 4: Threading the Wire

Just for an idea of how well and easy this works, the pegboard I'm working with here is screwed to a standard stud wall with fiberglass insulation behind and I have no access to the back of the pegboard.

Start at the hole that is directly below the hole were the top of the hook will go into. Thread the looped and hook shaped part of the wire into this hole with the loop being directed upward toward the hole above. (1st and 2nd photos).

Feeding the wire into the hole, you will be doing a kind of upwards vertical rolling of the hooked part of the wire behind the board until it feeds out the through the upper hole. (3rd photo)

Step 5: Securing the Top of the Pegboard Hook

Now that you have the wire threaded through the two holes, with the loop of the wire out the top hole, it's time to secure the pegboard hook.

With the hook in hand and tail of the wire in the other, place the top of the hook through the loop in the wire. (1st photo)

The next part can be a little tricky, but we are going to pull the wire back through the the the top hole as well as keeping the top of the hook through the loop in the wire. (2nd photo)

With the wire and the hook seated back through the hole it should look something like the last photo in this step. If you look closely you can still see the loop of the wire around the top of the hook inside the hole. (3rd photo)

Step 6: Securing the Bottom of the Pegboard Hook

Using the "tail" of the wire, take one piece around one side and over top of the hook, do the same with the other piece of wire but from the opposite side. Pull the wire taught over the hook. (1st photo)

Twist the two pieces of wire together by hand. The harder you can pull the wire while twisting, the tighter the hook will be secured to the pegboard. (2nd photo)

After you have twisted the wire by hand, if the hook is not secured tight enough, you can twist a little more using the pliers. Take caution though, if you twist too much, you'll just break the wire and have to start all over again. (3rd photo)

Snip off the excess wire with the wire cutters. Be sure to leave about 1/4" or so of the twist so you wire won't come loose. (4th and 5th photos)

Lastly bend the snipped off twist of wire to the back of the hook, towards the pegboard. (6th photo)

Step 7: Hang Your Tools!

Done... wasn't that easy! Hang your tools and try it out. No more hooks falling out every time you grab a tool from the wall.

I also really like how clean this looks... no screws or other convoluted contraptions putting extra holes in the wall and/or having to spend way too much money for something (those dumb plastic retainers) that don't work anyway.

To remove a hook, just take your pliers and twist the wire around a bit from the lower part and break it off. Pull the hook and wire out.

Some final notes about this technique...
In this instructable, I talked about spanning two adjacent vertical holes, but I have also had very good success spanning three holes as well as securing diagonally across two adjacent holes. The technique is the same, you are just adjusting the size of the "hook" in the wire.

Thank you for looking at my first Instructable!
I look forward to seeing your comments.



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15 Discussions


7 months ago

Great teachable. I liked your idea and I think it is more secure than the method I've initially tried, which is to take the wire and angle the one on the left side to a severe right turn as it goes in, then angle the right hand side piece of the wire straight up. This mimics the notion that the locks do; however, if I get an earthquake or severe thunder (or if my cow kicks my shed), I will rue not taking your advice.

After fooling around with the wire, after reading your Teachable the first time, and now reading it again, I think your method is much more secure and not that much harder than the one I used.

Thanks for putting this out there. I have a feeling I will end up using this method going forward.



9 months ago

Thanks for the tip. This is a little more difficult than the glue method but it's more secure.


1 year ago on Introduction

You provided an excellent tip. I just found these items, called peglocks, on Amazon and ebay. They are: Lehigh Group-Crawford 18025 25PK Peg Locks. They work for 1/8 and 1/4 inch pegboard hooks. There is another style available also.


1 year ago

I tried several of these methods and finally used the glue gun method. Reason: With lots of stuff already hanging, its hard to do the wire routine since the pegboard in behind the counter. The glue is fast, not pretty but it works.


2 years ago

Fantastic cheap, elegant, and effective solution to an incredibly annoying problem!! I shall be implementing it shortly with mine!! Thanks very much!!


3 years ago

This is a brilliant solution. Thanks for posting it! I've already lost track of where I originally hung most of my hooks due to them always falling out. Thankfully I have a photo from when I first set up the peg board, so can use that as a reference and secure them all in the same places properly this time.


3 years ago


I used a GLUE GUN and glued inside the holes and its easy to remove them in case you want to relocate the pegs and not hassle after that


5 years ago

Nice. I use zip ties and needle nose pliers to pull them through.


5 years ago

Thank you for obviously being smarter than I, what a clean, simple, and cheap fix.

1 reply

5 years ago on Introduction

I've used hot glue. A little dab will do ya, and it is reusable too.


5 years ago on Introduction

We did this at my shop with zipties, but your method is much easier and doesn't require access to the back of the board.

brandt e

5 years ago

Great solution!


5 years ago

what a simple, ingenious fix to an annoying problem ! thank you for sharing - i'll be using this.